September 23rd, 2019

Bargain Finder 209: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. EuroOptic and Midsouth — Nikon Scopes Up to 46% Off

Nikon tactical MRAD FFP SFP rifle scope

Save hundreds right now on Nikon rifle scopes. Midsouth has slashed prices on Nikon’s excellent FX1000-series scopes while EuroOptic has some amazing deals on Nikon’s M-Tactical and P-Tactical optics — zoom scopes from 1-4X power to 6-24X power. The various discounted Nikon scopes should provide pretty much anything a tactical shooter or hunter could need. Here are some of the best deals:

FX1000 6-24x50mm SF Illum. FX-MOA Reticle FFP
Was $799.95, now just $599.95 at Midsouth

FX1000 4-16x50mm SF FX-MRAD Reticle FFP
Was $649.95, now just $449.95 at Midsouth
Nikon M-TACTICAL 4-16x42mm SF BDC-800
Was $449.95, now just $259.95 at EuroOptic

Nikon M-TACTICAL 3-12x42mm SF MK1-MRAD
Was $399.95, now just $199.95 at EuroOptic

2. Palmetto — .308 Win Savage with 3-9x40mm Vortex, $449.99

Savage hunting rifle vortex scope complete deal

Here’s a complete .308 Win deer-hunting rig for under $450 with scope! The Savage Apex Hunter XP pairs a Model 110 rifle with a 3-9x40mm Vortex Crossfire II scope that’s mounted, bore-sighted, and ready to hunt. The stock features adjustable length-of-pull. Overall rifle length is 40.25″ with 20″ barrel, and weight is a modest 7.67 pounds complete with optics. This rifle is a .308 Win, but other chamberings are available.

3. Grizzly Industrial — Bald Eagle Slingshot Rest, $129.97

bald eagle front rifle rest

Maybe you’re just getting into F-Class or just need a good stable front rest to shoot from and don’t want to spend a ton of money on one. Don’t worry because Grizzly now has the Bald Eagle BE1129 aluminum slingshot rest for an amazingly low $129.97 Closeout price. Just add your favorite front bag and you’re ready to go with a competition quality elevation adjustable rest. They also have the Bald Eagle BE1209 – Big Fifty Rest on sale now for $202.97, nearly 50% off. With a much wider span and cast-iron legs, the Big Fifty is designed for larger guns up to .50 caliber. Either way, these rests are a great value.

4. EuroOptic — Leica CRF 2400-R Rangemaster, $550 No Tax

Leica rangefinder LRF CRF-2400 yards Eurooptic free sales tax

For long-range hunters, a compact laser rangefinder (LRF) is a vital accessory — and not just for ranging prey before taking the shot. You can use the LRF to range distant objects to get an idea of how far you’ll need to trek to your desired location. There are many good rangefinders on the market, but we have always liked the handheld Leicas. The CRF 2400-R Rangemaster is a solid value at $550.00. Plus, right now EuroOptic will pay any state sales tax you might owe. That can save you up to $50.00.

5. Midway USA — Lyman 8-Station Turret Press, $135.03

lyman brass smith MidwayUSA 8-station all american turret press reloading

Right now you can get Lyman’s new All-American 8-station turret press for just $135.03. That’s a great price. This high-capacity turret press sells elsewhere for up to $229.99. The Lyman offers more die stations than the 6-station RCBS Turret and the 7-station Redding T-7. It also has a strong rear support that minimizes head flex. NOTE: Priming on the Lyman turret is done in the front; the image above shows the priming station but not the vertical tube which holds stacked primers.

6. Precision Reloading — 10% Off All Frankford Arsenal Products

Frankford arsenal reloading tools primer case prep powder dispenser tumbler

Now through the end of September you can save ten percent (10%) on virtually all Frankford Arsenal products in stock at Precision Reloading. this includes the great new Intellidropper powder dispenser, Case Prep Center, Wet Tumbling System, Perfect Seat Hand Priming Tool, Precision Scales, Brass Dryer, Powder Trickler, Bullet Trays, Media Separator, and more. See all sale items at PrecisionReloading.com.

7. Midsouth — Frankford Click-Adjust Hand Priming Tool, $61.99

Frankford arsenal adjustable primer seating hand tool

This is a GREAT primer seating tool. It has good feel, plenty of leverage, and the primer feed-from-tray works well. Importantly, it has a click-adjust wheel for precise primer seating depth control. Read our Frankford Primer Seating Tool Product Review by gunsmith Jim See. Now discounted from $72.49 to $61.99 at Midsouth, this is a great product for the price. The tool comes complete with 12 precision shell holders.

8. Cabelas — Garmin GPSMAP 64ST Handheld, $199.99

garmin gps cabela's sale $50 Off handheld map

Hunters who spend considerable time in the wilderness, far from roads and mapped trails, should have a hand-held GPS that can plot their location within a few meters. Right now Cabelas.com has the highly-regarded Garmin GPSMAP 64ST on sale for $199.99. That’s fifty bucks off the regular price. This same handheld Garmin GPS sells for $242.50 on Amazon, so this is a great price at Cabelas.com.

9. Midsouth — Aguila .22 LR Ammo, 500 Rds $17.99

aguila .22 LR 22LR rimfire HP high velocity ammo ammunition sale Midsouth

Plinking is fun. Especially when your ammo is really cheap. If you need low-cost .22 LR rimfire ammo for range sessions with friends and family, check out this crazy good deal from Midsouth. You get 500 rounds of Aguila 38gr HiVel .22 LR ammo for just $17.99 (marked down from $32.99). That works out to 3.6 cents ($0.036) per round. We’ve used this stuff. It’s not match-grade, but it’s more than adequate for .22 LR handguns and rifles with fun targets, such as dueling trees and rimfire poppers.

10. Midsouth — 250 Adhesive Precision Targets on Roll, $12.49

midsouth adhesive benchrest precision target roll

Midsouth offers 250 self-adhesive Benchrest Targets on a convenient roll. These stick-on targets are great for load development. The aiming diamond helps align the cross hairs of your scope while the 1/4″ grid pattern makes it easy to eyeball your group size. At the bottom are fields for your load info. Each Target sticker measures 6″ x 4″ with a 4.5″ x 2.5″ printed area. Midsouth sells the 250-target roll for $12.49.

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September 22nd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Joe Hendricks Jr.’s CMP Cup-Winning Tubegun

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Photography by Meghan Hendricks.

This story is about a great shooter, Joe Hendricks Jr., and his Eliseo RTS Tubegun, chambered in 6mm Competition Match. With this versatile rifle, Joe Hendricks Jr. won the 2019 CMP Cup Aggregate Title for Match Rifles. Joe comes from a long line of talented marksmen. His father AND his grandfather are elite competitive shooters. His dad has been a National Champion, and all three generations have shot together, shoulder to shoulder, on the Remington Rifle Team. Like grandfather, like father, like son.

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Joe says: “I think it’s pretty cool that there have now been two major Across the Course Championships won by a Hendricks using a Gary Eliseo chassis, one by me this year, and one in 2014 when my father (Joe Hendricks Sr.) won the NRA National Championship.”

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Photography by Meghan Hendricks.

Joe Hendricks Jr.’s Rifle — Eliseo RTS Chassis, Rem 40X Action, Krieger Barrel
Joe’s rifle is built on a Competition Machine RTS Target Model chassis. This Tubegun features a Remington 40X action with Pacific Tool & Gauge Bolt and Jewell trigger. The scope is a Leupold 6-18x40mm. The barrel is a Krieger chambered in 6mm Competition Match. Joe explains: “The 6mm Competition Match is a cartridge that my dad came up with. It is basically a .243 Winchester with a 31° shoulder.”

If you look carefully in the photo below, you’ll note the silver-toned, adjustable butt-plate. That’s an upgrade Joe added: “I did a small modification to the stock, where I put on an Anschutz buttplate instead of the standard one Gary Eliseo uses. This Anschutz hardware provides a little bit more adjustability.”

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Here Joe Hendricks Jr. fires at 200 yards from the standing position.

The Standing Position — Why It’s Critical to Match Success
Joe told us: “As far as shooting strategies and training methods go, I shoot a lot of standing practice — at least 50 shots per session. I still train the other positions of course, but I believe if you start your day off with a great standing score, it really makes the rest of the day easy because then you don’t feel like you’re playing catch-up the whole time.”

Joe explains: “When I’m shooting standing, I shoot in a manner very similar to the way that Carl Bernosky does. He’s written a few articles about the standing position. He always talks about making sure the shot goes off inside his hold, and I’m the same way. I don’t try to do too much. I just let the gun do its thing and when/if it stops in the Ten Ring, I shoot the shot. If it doesn’t, I don’t.”

About the CMP Cup Two-Day Course of Fire
The CMP Cup is a two-day match comprised of two, 1000-point Aggregates, for a 2000-point Grand Agg. Each day, the competitors fire 100 shots total from the 200, 300, and 600 yard lines. The match starts with 20 shots slow fire standing at 200 yards. Next are two, 10-shot, rapid fire strings in 60 seconds from the sitting position. Next are two, 10-shot strings in 70 seconds prone at 300 yards (rapid fire prone). Each day’s course of fire concludes with two, 20-shot sequences of slow-fire prone at 600 yards.

Joe Hendricks Jr. CMP Cup Eliseo tubegun RTS 6 Competition High Power

6mm Competition Match Cartridge — Slower Powder Yields Better Barrel Life
My dad was shooting a 6XC for a while and was getting tired of going through almost two barrels a year. So, he came up with the 6mm Competition Match. Like I said, it is a .243 Winchester with a 31-degree shoulder. This delivers the same (if not better) velocity as the other popular 6mm cartridges, but we get almost double the barrel life because we increased the case capacity, so we can shoot a slower burning powder. The barrel I took to Camp Perry that won the CMP Cup had over 3700 rounds on it when I was finished. [EDITOR: Take note readers! Most 6mm barrels are toast after 2500 rounds.] Granted it definitely needed to come off at that point, but it obviously was still shooting well enough to win!

Accurate Load with Peterson Brass, Berger Bullets, and Vihtavuori N165
The two loads I shot all week were Berger 108gr BT behind Vihtavuori N165 in Peterson Cartridge Company brass for 200 and 300 yards, and then Berger 115 VLD behind N165 in Peterson brass for 600 yards. Both loads are easily going over 3000 FPS. I try to only use the best components for reloading, so that’s why I go with Berger, Vihtavuori, and Peterson. Obviously Berger and Vihtavuori quality are pretty known, but I believe Peterson is right up there with Lapua[.] I’ve visited the Petersen factory many times. I’m always blown away by the time and effort Peterson puts into everything.

Winning Marksmanship — the Mental Game
The other big thing I’ve been focusing on lately is my mental game. In order to be at the top of a sport, regardless of the sport, the athlete has to have a solid mental approach. For me, I’ve learned that my key is confidence. A good shooting buddy, who was with me the first day of the CMP Cup, suggested I was arrogant because I kept telling him I was going to win. Then I told him it was confidence not arrogance. If I was confident in my ability, I did not think there was any way I could lose. [Editor: To help build confidence and visualize success, we recommend With Winning in Mind, by Lanny Bassham, an Olympic gold-medal winning marksman.]

All in the Family — Three Generations of Hendricks Marksmen

Joe’s father, Joseph Hendricks Sr., has been a National Champion rifle shooter. Joe’s grandfather, Gary Hendricks, is also a talented marksman. In fact, all three men — grandfather, father, and son — shot together on the Remington Rifle Team. Joe says that the shooting sports have helped build strong family bonds. He and his father enjoy shooting together, and competing against one another: “I learn so much just by watching my dad… shoot. Even though I have been competing for 10 years now, I’m still incredibly new to the shooting sports compared to my dad. My father is always there to help.”

“I feel very privileged to have grown up in the family that I did, with not only my father as a competitive shooter, but my grandfather as well. I definitely would not be the person I am today, let alone the shooter, without either of them. At one point, all three of us were on the Remington Rifle Team. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot team matches with all three of us on one team, as recently as this past summer.”

“Initially when I began shooting competitively, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I wanted to be as good a shooter as my dad and grandfather. I was trying so hard that it was really affecting my scores negatively. Then one year, I told myself I was just going to have fun, and not worry about match scores. That year was the year I really started to win things, and shoot some good scores.”

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“When my father won the NRA National Championship in 2014, I was so proud, but along with being proud, all it did was make me more motivated. Ever since I started shooting, I wanted to win a National Championship, but after he won, it just fueled my fire more. There is a bit of father/son rivalry. It’s a lot of fun if we are shooting right next to each other at the same time. We just give each other crap about shooting a bad a shot, or shooting a lower score by a point or an X.”

“My dad started shooting when he was around 10, so he has a vast amount of knowledge compared to most people, especially me. He is always there to help whenever I have a question on anything firearm or shooting related. To this day, whenever I’m done with a match, I always talk to my dad. He always has time to listen to what I have to say.”

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September 23rd, 2019

Quick-Release Mirage Shield with Front/Rear Attachments

mirage shield tab hook barrel mount urban rifleman

Forum member UrbanRifleman is a talented parts designer and 3D-printing specialist who has developed a series of useful products for shooters. One of the cool items UrbanRifleman produces is a quick-release “snap-on” mirage shield. The shield has tabs on each end. These tabs snap into plastic fittings front and rear. Here’s a video showing how it works:

The mirage shield attaches via front and rear quick-release fittings. In the back there’s a rail-mounted hook. In the front, at the muzzle end, is a 3D-printed ring clamp that fits the barrel precisely. These muzzle rings are tailored to the barrel diameters in a variety of diameters: 0.625″, 0.75″, 0.85″, 0.90″, 0.95″, 1.0″, 1.25″, and 1.50″. The front barrel-end clamp it shown at top. Below is the rear attachment, mounted on the Picatinny-type scope rail.

mirage shield tab hook barrel mount urban rifleman

Satisfied Customer Praised this Shield Kit
One of our Forum members recently bought this quick-to-attach Mirage Shield and was very impressed: “I bought the Snap-on Mirage Shield from UrbanRifleman for my F-Class rifle. It worked so well I just ordered two more. Not only does it work well, it gets rid of the ugly and looks professional.” — BigJohn

You can order the Mirage Shield from UrbanRifleman on the Forum. The cost for the kit, which includes the Mirage Shield attachment fittings, is $29.00 for one or $50.00 for two units. As noted, the rear fitting clamps to a standard Picatinny-type scope rail. Up front is a plastic mount that clamps around the end of the barrel. You’ll need to specify your barrel diameter. You can see more photos on eBay, where you can purchase direct.

mirage shield tab hook barrel mount urban rifleman

The Kit includes all parts needed to assemble a Picatinny-mounted mirage kit:

(1) Barrel-end front clamp with hardware (specific to barrel diameter)
(1) Picatinny rear mount with hardware
(1) Elastic Mesh 3″ x 30″ long
(2) Hangars
(2) Hooks

NOTE: This kit requires some assembly. Cut mesh to length, allowing for a few inches of stretch. Cut the ends square and glue them into the hangars with Elmer’s glue or similar adhesive. Then tape and let dry.

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September 23rd, 2019

Cartridges of the World (16th Edition) Covers 1500+ Types

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of the World (16th Edition), belongs in every serious gun guy’s library. This massive 688-page reference contains illustrations and load data for over 1500 cartridge types. If you shoot a wide variety of cartridges, or are a cartridge collector, this book is a “must-have” resource. The latest edition (release date 7/23/2019) includes 50 new cartridge types and 1500+ photos. This print version can be ordered for about $30.00 at Amazon.com (plus shipping and tax), while a Kindle eBook version costs $14.99.

Updated 16th Edition Released Late July 2019
The 16th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes cartridge specs, plus tech articles on Cartridge identification, SAAMI guidelines, wildcatting, and new cartridge design trends. Cartridges of the World, the most complete cartridge reference guide in print, now includes a lengthy full-color section with feature articles such as 7mm Rem Magnum, .44 Special History, and “P.O. Ackley’s Best Improved Cartridges”.

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of the World 16th Ed. CHAPTERS:
Chapter 1: Current American Sporting Cartridges
Chapter 2: Obsolete American Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 3: Wildcat Cartridges
Chapter 4: Proprietary Cartridges
Chapter 5: Handgun Cartridges of the World
Chapter 6: Military Rifle Cartridges of the World
Chapter 7: British Sporting Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 8: European Sporting Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 9: American Rimfire Cartridges
Chapter 10: Shotgun Shells
Chapter 11: U.S. Military Ammunition
Chapter 12: Cartridge ID by Measurement

Cartridges of the World by author Frank C. Barnes was first published in 1965. The 16th Edition is edited by W. Todd Woodard, Editor of Gun Tests magazine and author of several firearms reference books. Frank Barnes (1918-1992) began collecting information on handgun cartridges at the early age of 12, thanks to his father, a police officer. Frank Barnes was an innovative cartridge designer, who invented the original 308 x 1.5″ Barnes, predecessor of the 30BR case.

Before Frank began a law enforcement career, he was a college professor. Frank was also a pilot, and a race-car driver. Learn more about Cartridges of the World (15th Ed.) at www.gundigest.com.

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September 22nd, 2019

Mobile Power — Chargers for Phones, Laptops, Tablets, LabRadars

LabRadar FosPower USB Battery pack charnging LED

Today’s precision shooter is connected. He or she is likely to bring a number of electronic items to the range, such as a smartphone, tablet computer, Kestrel, LabRadar chronograph, and more. These digital devices all require electricity to operate. Unfortunately, most ranges don’t include convenient charging stations for your gadgets. Therefore you need to bring battery back-up. Here are three good options, with storage capacities from 10200 mAh to 42000 mAh. The first unit is fully weather-proof, so it is good for hunters and tactical shooters exposed to the elements. The largest power pack, with AC outlet, is quite versatile and works well on car-camping trips.

1. FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $29.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $29.99 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $25.00).

2. EasyAcc 20000 mAh Battery Pack with Fast Charging, $37.99

USB

If you want to charge multiple devices, such as a tablet and a LabRadar, you need serious capacity. The EasyAcc 20000 mAh battery pack can charge up to four devices simultaneously. Notably, this $37.99 Battery Pack charges faster than most other 20K packs. It has two power input ports, allowing it to fully charge in 6-7 hours. (We have another 20000 mAh battery unit that takes over 16 hours to fully charge!). This unit will charge an iPhone 7 six times, a Samsung S8 four times or an iPad Mini two times. Note, 77% of Amazon purchasers rated this unit Five Stars (with 13% Four-Star reviews).

3. Webetop 42000 mAh USB, 12v DC, 110v AC Power Station, $108.99

USB

Many folks have asked us “How can I use a laptop, chronograph, or electronic powder dispenser that requires 110 volt AC power when I’m at the range?” Sure you can take power from your car’s 12 volt cigarette lighter jack, but you’ll still need a very long cable and a 12 volt to 110 volt step-up transformer. If you run a cable from the parking lot to the bench or shooting bay you’ll have to leave a window open in your vehicle and fellow shooters can trip over the long cord.

A better solution is to get a portable, combo 12 volt + 110 volt power unit. This versatile 42000 mAh Webetop Power Station will drive a 110v device, plus charge a tablet and cellphone, all at the same time. You can run a LabRadar for days with this power-pack. It will also power CPAP machines and other 12V devices. One nice feature is rapid charging. Before your range session or camping trip, plug this into the wall. It will get fully charged in 7-8 hours. It’s a bargain right now for $108.99 on Amazon.

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September 22nd, 2019

Power User Tips for Ultrasonic Cleaning Machines

Ultrasonic Cleaning RCBS Ultrasound .308 Winchester 7.62x51 brass casings

Tumblers and walnut/corncob media are old school. These days many shooters prefer processing brass rapidly with an ultrasonic cleaning machine. When used with the proper solution, a good ultrasonic cleaning machine can quickly remove remove dust, carbon, oil, and powder residue from your cartridge brass. The ultrasonic process will clean the inside of the cases, and even the primer pockets. Tumbling works well too, but for really dirty brass, ultrasonic cleaning may be a wise choice.

READ FULL UltimateReloader.com Article on Ultrasonic Case Cleaning.

Our friend Gavin Gear recently put an RCBS Ultrasonic cleaning machine through its paces using RCBS Ultrasonic Case Cleaning Solution (RCBS #87058). To provide a real challenge, Gavin used some very dull and greasy milsurp brass: “I bought a huge lot of military once-fired 7.52x51mm brass (fired in a machine gun) that I’ve been slowly prepping for my DPMS LR-308B AR-10 style rifle. Some of this brass was fully prepped (sized/de-primed, trimmed, case mouths chamfered, primer pockets reamed) but it was gunked up with lube and looking dingy.”

UltimateReloader.com Case Cleaning Video (7.5 minutes):

Gavin describes the cleaning exercise step-by-step on UltimateReloader.com. Read Gavin’s Cartridge Cleaning Article to learn how he mixed the solution, activated the heater, and cycled the machine for 30 minutes. As you can see in the video above, the results were impressive. If you have never cleaned brass with ultrasound before, you should definitely watch Gavin’s 7.5-minute video — it provides many useful tips and shows the cleaning operation in progress from start to finish.


The latest Gen2 RCBS ultrasonic cleaning machine has a large 6.3-quart capacity. That’s nearly 100 percent larger than the first generation machine in Gavin’s video. The Gen2 machine features a second ceramic heater and transducer to better clean brass cases and firearm parts. The LED is easily programmable, and the timer can be set for up to 30 minutes of cleaning. The $380.00 Gen2 RCBS ultrasonic machine qualifies for a $40 RCBS Rebate now through the end of September 2019.

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September 21st, 2019

Optics Review: Sightron SIII 45x45mm ED Fixed Power Scope

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

45X Fixed-Power Sightron Field Test

Sightron SIII 45x45mm Competition with ED GlassReview by James Mock

Sightron has introduced a new, high-magnification Benchrest scope, the SIII SS 45x45mm Competition. This new-for-2019 45-power scope now offers very high-quality glass. In response to consumer demand, for this model, Sightron has upgraded to premium ED (extra low dispersion) glass. This kind of superior glass has been available with other more-expensive premium optics brands, and now Sightron has joined the ED-Glass ranks.

Testing the 45x45MM ED Sightron Benchrest Scope
Most of my shooting is done at 600 yards now. New for 2019, Sightron has introduced an impressive new 45-power competition scope, offered with either a Target Dot (EDTD) or Fine Cross Hair (EDFCH) reticles. I was able to test the target dot model. With this model I can check the ED glass used by Sightron and 45X is certainly enough for the 300- and 600-yard competitions I shoot.

Although this scope lacks some of the new features found on the SVSS models, it is designed for the shooter who wants a quality scope that is light enough to be used in short range Benchrest. It seems that Sightron designed this scope for the short range Benchrest shooters. They skipped all of the frills and designed this scope for PERFORMANCE.

The Sightron SIII 45x45mm has a simple side-focus parallax adjustment that works very well. The ocular focus is like the older models in that it has a locking ring rather than the fast focus. It has a 45mm objective lens. The model that I have features a 1/10th MOA dot reticle while the click adjustments are 1/10th MOA. NOTE that — the clicks are one-tenth MOA, NOT the 1/8th MOA you might expect.

At 20.5 ounces this scope will allow shooters to make most of the weight requirements found in Benchrest shooting. With the superb Japanese ED glass, it equals or surpasses the image quality of scopes of equal magnification costing twice as much.

Although this scope lacks some of the frills, it has the features that serious shooters appreciate. It has 7-layer coating on all lens (termed Zach 7), 1/10th MOA adjustments, 1/10th MOA dot reticle (or fine crosshair), generous eye relief, life time warranty, and 30mm main tube.

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

Testing Procedure for Sightron SIII 45x45mm
For testing the scope, I mounted it on my BAT/Leonard Benchrest rifle (shown above). The rifle is chambered in 6mm BRAI and I will shoot the rifle at 300 and 600 yards. The 300-yard match consists of three, 10-shot targets on the IBS 300-yard target. The 600-yard match consists of four, 5-shot targets. Both are shot for score only. So far the scope has performed flawlessly and the image is bright and the resolution was superb. One thing that I have dreamed about is a scope that will resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. Since I have shot this scope only during the summer months in Louisiana I cannot see bullet holes at 600 yards. However, in fairness to the scope, I don’t think the Hubble telescope would resolve the holes in the mirage and heat evident this summer.

I have tested scopes that cost over $3000 and this Sightron (street price $900-$1000) held its own with those higher-priced models and surpassed many of them. I wish that this scope would have been available back when I was shooting short range Benchrest. It is truly a great value for today’s shooter.

The first test performed was “shooting the square” in which I fired five (5) shots in order, cranking the turrets from shot to shot. This scope passed test #1 with flying colors — the fifth and last shot went through the same hole as shot #1. Here’s the process. After Shot One (lower left), I then cranked the scope up 4 MOA and fired Shot Two. For the third shot, I moved the scope to the right 4 MOA followed by a 4 MOA adjustment down. Next, I adjusted 4 MOA left and fired the fifth. If the scope tracts properly, the fifth shot should hit close to the first. In fact, Shot Five went through the same hole as Shot One. Of course one must have the same aiming point and an accurate rifle.

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

Shown above is the target that I shot at 100 yards. This was shot with my 6 BRAI rifle with 30.4 grains of H4895 and Bart’s 105gr VLD “Hammers” seated .006“ into the lands. This “square” shows perfect tracking and absolute accuracy in both windage and elevation adjustments. (However, note that the target itself was a little crooked as stapled to the backer). Sightron’s ExacTrac turret technologies shown below may be the reason for such great “shooting the square” results:

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

The above picture was taken from the Sightron catalogue and it illustrates what may be the most important feature for Benchrest shooters. They named it the ExacTrack and it features a cone shaped contact point on the windage and elevation knobs that allow constant and even pressure on the erector tube. In the picture above the left side shows conventional scope erector tube contact (figures 1 and 2). Figures 3 and 4 show how the Sightron system works. This unique system solves the problem of a flat tip pushing a round tube. My tests showed that this scope holds point of aim exceptionally well.

Using the Sightron 45X Scope in Match Conditions
I recently tested the the 45x45mm Sightron in competition for the first time. In preparation for this match, I tried four loads at 200 yards. I was impressed with the positive and accurate adjustments without the “mushy” feel that many scopes with fine adjustments exhibit.

I shot 3-shot groups and the groups measured as follows: 1) 30.0 grains H4895/Fed 205/Bart’s Gungnir = .605”; 2) 30.5 grains H4895/Fed 205/Bart’s Gungnir = .945”; 3) 30.0 grains H4895/Fed 205/Berger 108gr BT = .459”; 4) 30.4 grains H4895/Fed 205/Bart’s Hammer = .309” (this is my 600-yard “go-to” load).

The 300-yard match saw 101° temperatures with light, switching head winds up to 5 mph. The mirage was very noticeable but I was still able to see bullet holes. The scope performed well (although I did not). The click adjustments were precise and positive with both tactile and audible indicators. This is a quality scope.

SUMMARY of Test — Final Impressions

I am more than satisfied with this scope and I believe it represents a great value for competitive shooters. It has great glass, with positive adjustments that hold point of aim. Because of the ED glass, the image has correct color and is sharp to the edges. The scope’s reticle features a 1/10th MOA dot. The turrets use 1/10th MOA adjustments that allow precise aim and point of impact adjustments.

Is there anything that I would change? No, not for short range Benchrest (100/200/300yards), but for 600-yard shooting, I prefer a more detailed reticle with MOA-based hash-marks. With vertical and horizontal hashmarks one can quickly determine the amount of clickes needed to correct impact. Also, a variable power scope is very handy for those days when mirage does not allow precise aiming. Readers should note that Sightron does make a variable power 10-50x60mm ED scope featuring a reticle with MOA-based hash-marks. That should be a good option for shooters who need a high-magnification, variable-power comp scope.

But for those who prefer a fixed-power scope, Sightron’s new SIII SS 45x45mm is a smart option, that is a very good value. If you are in the market for a fixed-power 45X benchrest scope, I can heartily recommend this new offering from Sightron. — James Mock

Short History of “Freezing” Benchrest Scopes
Several years ago, many Benchrest shooters were having trouble with their riflescopes holding point of aim. Cecil Tucker, Jackie Schmidt, Gene Bukys, and Bob Brackney modified some scopes to “freeze” the adjustments. This worked fairly well but it hindered a shooter’s ability to make fine adjustments quickly.

The late Ron Hoehn along with others started using small Delrin screws to stabilize the erector tube. This brought about my first use of Sightron scopes. I contacted Sightron and asked if they would furnish a scope for me to try this procedure and they agreed. A friend and I drilled the two holes and tapped them to apply the Delrin screws. Surprisingly, this system worked well on the Sightron 36X SII model. As a matter of fact, COL Billy Stevens won the Super Shoot using one of those SII Benchrest scopes. There was a drawback however. When one tightened the screw against the erector tube there was a slight point of aim movement. This was not too noticeable in group shooting but hampered the score shooters.

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

The scope pictured above another Sightron I’ve used, a 10-50x60mm. This medium-priced scope offered excellent value-for-money and it sold very well. It performed superbly for me and in my opinion represents one of the best buys in a long range scope. About two years ago, Sightron decided to put out a more advanced scope. Sightron added locking turrets, 34mm tube, and a few more “premium” features. Of course the price reflected these changes but there was not a severe price increase.

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September 21st, 2019

3GN Nationals Coming to Florida October 12-13, 2019

3GN 3-gun nation championship nationals florida
3-Gun competitors must be wicked fast (and accurate) with rifle, pistol, and shotgun.

What’s the most exciting, physically challenging shooting sport? An argument can be made that three-gun shooting (also called “multi-gun”) tops the list. To succeed in the 3-Gun world, competitors must be fast and accurate with rifle, pistol, and shotgun. They must exhibit blazing speed in the short-range stages plus serious accuracy during long-range stages.

3GN 3-gun nation championship nationals florida

America’s top 3-Gun shooters held to Florida next month. The 2019 3-Gun Nation (3GN) Nationals take place October 12-13 at Southern Tactical Range in Holt, Florida. There will be plenty of fast action, plus some long-range accuracy stages. Watch the video below for a preview of the event:

3GN 3-gun nation championship nationals florida

If you’d like to try your hand at 3-Gun shooting, you can still register for the 3GN Nationals, by visiting 3GunNation.com. This match will feature a minimum of 8 stages of fire over a 2-Day Format. Southern Tactical Range offers a mixture of natural terrain and bay stages, featuring a long range area with targets up to 1000 yards.

Blast from the Past — 3-Gun Nation Championship Shoot-Off 2013
In this video 2019 3GN Champion Dan Horner wins a dramatic shoot-off at 2013 3GN Nationals. Horner, after leaving the USAMU, now shoots for Team SIG Sauer.

Hardware for 3-Gun Competition — Guns & Gear

3GN 3-gun nation nationals

In this NSSF video, Top Shot Finalist Chris Cerino reviews the hardware you’ll need for multi-gun matches. Chris talks about carbine configurations — including barrel, handguard, and optics options. Cerino also demonstrates pistol techniques and explains the key features of a belt/holster rig.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical 1 Comment »
September 20th, 2019

AR, Garand, M1A — Six Rules for Gas Gun Reloading

Reloading for Service Rifles
SFC Lance Dement as featured in CMP’s First Shot Online.

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has published a great series of reloading “how-to” articles on its Facebook Page. This post covers key factors to consider when loading ammunition for Match Rifles and Service Rifles, with a particular focus on self-loading “gas guns”. Visit the USAMU Facebook Page each Wednesday for other, helpful “Handloading Hump-Day” tips.

We offer some “cardinal rules” to help new gas-gun handloaders with safety and efficiency. These address both Match Rifle and Service Rifle versions of the AR15, M1 Garand, M1A, and M110. However, they can also improve safe reloading for many other auto-loaders such as M1 Carbines, FALs, SIGs, etc. The author distilled these principles many years ago to help focus on the essential aspects of these rifles.

RULE ONE: Service Rifles Are Not Benchrest Rifles
Gas-guns require a relatively loose fit between ammunition and chamber (vs. bolt actions) for safe, smooth operation. Many techniques, such as neck sizing and keeping cartridge headspace quite tight, are popular in the extreme bolt gun accuracy realm. However, they are of little value with Service Rifles, and some could even be hazardous. Before adopting a specialized technique, seriously consider whether it is appropriate and beneficial in a gas-gun.

RULE TWO: Never Compromise Safety to Obtain Accuracy
Example: If choosing a brand of great, but ultra-sensitive match primers offers possibly better accuracy at the risk of slam-fires in your design of rifle, don’t do it! You are issued exactly two eyes and ten fingers (best-case scenario). Risking them trying to squeeze 0.25 MOA better accuracy out of an M1A, etc. simply isn’t worth it.

Reloading for Service Rifles

RULE THREE: Tailor the Precision to Your Individual Skill and Your Rifle’s Potential
This has been addressed here before, but bears repeating for newcomers. If you are struggling to break out of the Marksman Class, or using a CMP M1 “As-Issued,” then laboriously turning the necks of your 600-yard brass is a waste of time. Your scores will improve much faster by practicing or dry-firing. On the other hand, if the reigning champions anxiously check your scores each time you fire an event, a little neck-turning might not be so far-fetched.

Verifying Load Improvements — Accuracy hand-loading involves a wide variety of techniques, ranging from basic to rather precise. Carefully select those which offer a good return on investment for your time and labor. In doubt? Do a classic pilot study. Prepare ammo for at least three or four ten-shot groups with your new technique, vs. the same with your standard ammo. Then, pick a calm day and test the ammo as carefully as possible at its full distance (e.g. 200, 300, or 600 yards) to verify a significant improvement. A little testing can save much labor!

RULE FOUR: Be Your Own Efficiency Expert
Serious Service Rifle shooters generally think of ammunition in terms of thousands of rounds, not “boxes”, or even “hundreds”. Analyze, and WRITE DOWN each step in your reloading process. Count the number of times each case is handled. Then, see if any operations can be dropped or changed without reducing safety or accuracy. Eliminating just two operations saves 2000 steps per 1000 rounds loaded. Conversely, carefully consider any measurable benefits before adding a step to your routine.

RULE FIVE: In Searching for Greater Accuracy with Efficiency, Look for System Changes
For example, instead of marking your 300-yard rounds individually to differentiate them from your 200-yard ammo, would a simple change in primers work? If accuracy is maintained, using brass-colored primers for 200 and silver for 300 provides an indelible indicator and eliminates a step! Similarly, rather than spending hours selecting GI surplus brass for weight and neck uniformity, consider splurging on some known, high-quality imported match brass for your 600-yard loads. Results should be excellent, time is saved, and given limited shooting at 600 yards, brass life should be long.

RULE SIX: Check All Your Primers Before Packaging Your Loaded Ammo
This seems simple and even intuitive. However, many slam-fires (which were much more common when M1s and M1As were the standard) are due, at least in part, to “high” primers. Primers should be seated below flush with the case head. The USAMU has addressed this at length in a previous column, but each round should be checked for properly-seated primers before they are packaged for use.

Reloading for Service Rifles

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
September 20th, 2019

Splitting Two Cards at Once with Twin-Barreled 1911

Kirsten Joy Weiss 1911 2011 Arsenal Twin Barrel Playing Card

One Pistol, Two Barrels, Two Playing Cards — here’s a trick shot we just had to share. The talented Kirsten Joy Weiss does something we’ve never seen before, splitting TWO (2) playing cards with a unique, twin-barreled 1911-style pistol. Watch the video to see Kirsten pull off this double-barreled doozy of a trick, firing two bullets at the same time.

It took a few tries, but Kirsten makes the shot at the 3:14 time-mark:

Kirsten Joy Weiss 1911 2011 Arsenal Twin Barrel Playing Card

Kirsten was enthusiastic about this unique trick: “Splitting two cards with two bullets fired at once? The double-barreled 1911 was just begging for a trick shot application. Arsenal Firearm’s 2011 A1 twin-barrel, 1911-style pistol is a heavy monster to wrangle, but a lot of fun to shoot!”

Kirsten Joy Weiss 1911 2011 Arsenal Twin Barrel Playing Card

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Shooting Skills Post comment »
September 20th, 2019

National Hunting and Fishing Day Is September 28, 2019

National hunting and fishing days september 28 2019 where to shoot open house

National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day) takes place on Saturday, September 28, 2019. The annual celebration, on the 4th Saturday of September, serves as a reminder that conservation succeeds because of leadership and funding from hunters, shooters and anglers. National, regional, state and local organizations will run thousands of “open house” hunting- and fishing-related events around the country. Events will include Fishing Derbys, Hunting Expos, Wing-shooting tournaments, and much more. Over four million Americans will participate.

National hunting and fishing days september 22 2018 where to shoot

Find Events in Your State
For info on NHF Day, visit www.nhfday.org. To find NHF Day events in your state, click links below:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina

Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Hunters Aid Conservation Efforts
The contributions of hunters, in the form of excise taxes paid on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment, benefit every state. These taxes have generated approximately $5.6 billion for wildlife conservation since 1939.

National hunting and fishing days september 22 2018 where to shoot

Origins of National Hunting & Fishing Day
National Hunting and Fishing Day dates back to the 1960s. In 1972, by Senate Joint Resolution 117, Congress requested the President to declare the fourth Saturday of September 1972 as National Hunting and Fishing Day. On May 2 of the same year, President Richard Nixon signed proclamation 4128 designating the Fourth Saturday in September National Hunting and Fishing Day.

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September 19th, 2019

Why All Shooters Need SERIOUS Hearing Protection

Hearing Protection DB sound level ear plug muff

“Science tells us that exposure to continuous noise of 85 dB for eight hours is enough to cause permanent hearing loss, and worse, spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly.”
Source: NRA Blog.

The Risk of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be progressive and irreversible. If you are a shooter, this is serious business. As the NRA Blog cautions: “You may not even realize you’re harming your hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually, and can go effectively unnoticed until symptoms become severe. By then, the damage is done.”

Nobody wants to go deaf. But we often see shooters without effective hearing protection when they are walking around a few yards behind the firing line. That’s bad — even if you are away from the firing line, gunshot noises can damage your hearing. You MUST use effective hearing protection every time you go to the range. Good foam earplugs costs mere pennies but they can prevent deafness in your later years. Many folks also wear muffs over plugs.

Sound Levels for Common Noises:

9mm Luger pistol: 160 dB

Jet aircraft engine (near): 140 dB

.22 LR pistol: 134 dB

Normal human pain threshold: 120 dB

Noisy Nightclub: 110 db

Riding Motorcycle at 65 mph: 103 db

Power Lawnmower: 95 dB

Hearing damage possible: 85 dB (sustained for 8+ hours)

Ringing Telephone: 80 dB

Normal conversation: 60 dB

The Myth of the “Quiet” .22 LR
The NRA Blog notes that “many rimfire shooters, particularly those using the beloved .22 Long Rifle cartridge, argue that the small .22 LR caliber doesn’t produce enough sound to damage your hearing”. So, is that really true … or is it a myth?

In fact, a .22 LR can be much louder than you think — a .22 LR pistol can produce sound levels of 134 dB. That’s well above the normal human pain threshhold.

hearing protection ear muffs NRR earplugs osha deafness

Highest Protection NRR 34dB-Rated Ear Muffs

AccurateShooter Deals of Week NRR 34 muffs ear protection 34dB

For under $15.00 you can buy quality ANSI-approved muffs with a 34dB Noise Reduction Rating — the best you can get. Chose the Bright Yellow TR Industrial Muffs at $13.48, or the dark green Walker EXT Range Muffs for $13.99. Both products have padded head-bands which retract. Another dual-shell design with a 34dB NRR rating is the new FNova Muffs priced at just $12.88.

Many hunters and competitive shooters prefer low-profile ear muffs. As these typically have a lower Noise Reduction Rating, perhaps NRR 22-24, we recommend running earplugs under muffs, particularly when you are at a busy range or shooting a match. If you use low-profile electronic muffs, such as Howard Leight Impact Sport Muffs, you should still be able to hear range commands even with plugs underneath.

Howard Leight MAX NRR33 Earplugs, Just $7.98 for 50 Pairs.

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

These Howard Leight NRR33 Max plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 3-4 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot. This Editor just bought a 50-pack myself. And, yep, I got 50 pairs for $7.98 delivered, less than a pint of premium beer costs at my local pub:

Howard Leight ear protection plugs earplugs sale Amazon discount 50 pairs

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
September 19th, 2019

Hunting 101 — Stabilize Your Shooting Positions

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand
For hunters in a tree stand, SFC McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestandTeam USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In a USAMU video, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

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September 18th, 2019

Too Fast or Too Slow — What’s Your Optimal Twist Rate?

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo Midsouth
Here’s an extreme range of .224-Caliber bullets: 35gr varmint bullet and 90gr match bullet. Of course, along with bullet length/design, you need to consider MV when choosing twist rate.

Even with the same caliber (and same bullet weight), different bullet types may require different rates of spin to stabilize properly. The bullet’s initial spin rate (RPM) is a function of the bullet’s muzzle velocity and the spin imparted by the rifling in the barrel. You want to ensure your bullet is stable throughout flight. It is better to have too much spin than too little, according to many ballistics experts, including Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Glen Zediker has some basic tips concerning barrel twist rates and bullet stability. These come from his latest book, Top Grade Ammo.

Choosing the Right Twist Rate
I’d always rather have a twist too fast than not fast enough. Generally… I recommend erring toward the faster side of a barrel twist decision. 1:8″ twist is becoming a “new standard” for .224 caliber, replacing 1:9″ in the process. The reason is that new bullets tend to be bigger rather than smaller. Don’t let a too-slow twist limit your capacity to [achieve] better long-range performance.

Base your next barrel twist rate decision on the longest, heaviest bullets you choose to use, and at the same time realize that the rate you choose will in turn limit your bullet choices. If the longest, heaviest bullet you’ll shoot (ever) is a 55-grain .224, then there’s honestly no reason not to use a 1:12″. Likewise true for .308-caliber: unless you’re going over 200-grain bullet weight, a 1:10″ will perform perfectly well.

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo Midsouth

Bullet Length is More Critical than Weight
Bullet length, not weight, [primarily] determines how much rotation is necessary for stability. Twist rate suggestions, though, are most usually given with respect to bullet weight, but that’s more of a generality for convenience’s sake, I think. The reason is that with the introduction of higher-ballistic-coefficient bullet designs, which are longer than conventional forms, it is easily possible to have two same-weight bullets that won’t both stabilize from the same twist rate.

Evidence of Instability
The tell-tale for an unstable (wobbling or tumbling) bullet is an oblong hole in the target paper, a “keyhole,” and that means the bullet contacted the target at some attitude other than nose-first.

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo MidsouthIncreasing Barrel Length Can Deliver More Velocity, But That May Still Not Provide Enough Stability if the Twist Rate Is Too Slow
Bullet speed and barrel length have an influence on bullet stability, and a higher muzzle velocity through a longer tube will bring on more effect from the twist, but it’s a little too edgy if a particular bullet stabilizes only when running maximum velocity.

My failed 90-grain .224 experiment is a good example of that: I could get them asleep in a 1:7″ twist, 25-inch barrel, which was chambered in .22 PPC, but could not get them stabilized in a 20-inch 1:7″ .223 Rem. The answer always is to get a twist that’s correct.

These tips were adapted from Glen’s newest book, Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth. To learn more about this book and other Zediker titles, and read a host of downloadable articles, visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
September 18th, 2019

REVIEW: AIM Field Sports FS-42 Rifle Bag with Shoulder Straps

AIM field sports carry bag folding rifle FS-42 FS case backpack

AIM Field Sports FS-42 Rifle Carry Bag (Shoulder Pack)

Gear Review by Jason Baney
I recently had the opportunity to test out the AIM Field Sports FS-42 rifle carry bag from the UK. This brand, while not well known in the USA, is popular throughout Europe as AIM makes incredibly robust and well thought-out gear. In addition to AIM’s house brand, AIM also sells OEM gear for other well-known companies, so this outfit is well-versed in the market and know what works and what doesn’t. These are incredibly well-made bags at a very fair price (£157.50, about $196.00 USD). I expect we will see more AIM rifle bags come to the U.S. market in the coming years.

AIM field sports carry bag folding rifle FS-42 FS case backpack

About the Rifle — Accuracy International AX in 22 Creedmoor
The rifle in the photos is Jason’s new “Groundhog Laser”, chambered in 22 Creedmoor. Jason reports: “The Accuracy Int’l AX platform lets me swap barrels quickly and the Tangent Theta scope allows quick zero resets when switching barrels. The suppressor is a Silencerco Omega and the scope mount is an ERATAC adjustable. With the 24″ 1:8″-twist Bartlein 5R barrel and a healthy charge of H4350 it runs a 75gr Amax just a touch under 3500 FPS for a 1000-yard come-up of about 5.3 mils!”

Jason added: “Even my 6-year-old son loves to shoot the rifle (with the LOP set at minimum). The boy took the first 7 groundhogs with it over a 2-hour span. I took 4 that day as well — an epic groundhog adventure. My son also recently shot this rifle at 1000 yards. On his very first 1K outing, he went 10 for 11 shots on a 2/3 IPSC target!”

For me, the FS-42 was intended to carry my Accuracy International AX (another fabulous tool from the UK) to and from the range, matches, and groundhog fields. While AIM Field Sports makes several types of Carry Cases and Drag Bags, this FS-42 is the model for right-side folding stock rifles up to a length of about 41.5.” AIM’s FXS-42 would be the choice for similar length rifles but with a butt-stock that folds to the left.

AIM field sports carry bag folding rifle FS-42 FS case backpack

Good Shoulder Strap System Provides Comfortable Carry
The backpack straps received quite a bit of use and are well designed and rugged — you hardly know they exist until you deploy them for use. I actually enjoyed carrying my heavy rifle even when loaded with a tripod (strapped on the external loops), ammo, bipod, mags, suppressor, camera gear and a couple bean bags. It had no problem handling my heavy rifle and gear. Even with a 24″ barrel with suppressor mounted, and large Tangent Theta 5-25 scope the bag had plenty of room to secure and protect it.

AIM field sports carry bag folding rifle FS-42 FS case backpack

The FS-42 gives plenty of room for support gear and has many well placed straps and reinforcements to keep your rifle in place and protected in transit. The more time I spend with it the more features I notice. It is obvious that these bags were designed by shooters. While no soft case/drag bag can quite offer the same protection of a hard case, it is much less cumbersome and holds about the same amount of gear. It is so well thought-out there is even a spot for a cleaning rod along the spine of the case!

Overall, the AIM FS-series bags are well-made, well laid-out and a great value in a world where some similar bags can be nearly twice the cost. These AIM bags are a great alternative to dragging heavy hard cases around.

Final Thought: “The FS-42 Bag is excellent — I dig it. It has worked well for all tasks. The only thing I would change is a bit more padding where the bag lies on your low-back/pelvis area.”

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September 18th, 2019

Lapua Teams Up with Vudoo Gun Works at WSC This Week

vudoo .22 LR rimfire lapua center-X

The NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) starts today in West Virginia. The event runs September 18-21 at the the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, WV. At the WSC, top professional and amateur shooters compete in a wide variety of shooting disciplines, including pistol, rifle, shotgun, and combined firearm sports.

As a key part of this event, Lapua will team up with Vudoo Gun Works on a special “tactical rimfire” stage. This allows shooters to enjoy the fun of PRS-style shooting with a rimfire cartridge. Lapua’s Center-X ammunition will be paired with a state-of-the-art Vudoo .22 LR rifle. On this stage, competitors will engage challenging targets at multiple ranges.

vudoo .22 LR rimfire lapua center-X

Even if you can’t make it to the World Shooting Championship, rimfire shooting with a Vudoo rig (or similar rifle) is a great way to cross-train for PRS/NRL with lower cost ammo. Factory loaded centerfire can easily cost $1.50 per round. Rimfire .22 LR ammo is a fraction of that cost. You can get good SK and Lapua ammo starting at about $6.50 per 50ct box. That’s just 13 cents per round.

“We are excited to return to the NRA World Shooting Championship at Peacemaker. As we did for the past two years, we are teaming with Vudoo to display the accuracy capabilities of Lapua ammunition. I think the shooters will be thrilled with the performance of Lapua Midas+ and Center-X ammunition in the Vudoo rifles. This event is a great test for shooter and equipment,” stated Adam Braverman, Lapua Director of Sales and Marketing.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition Post comment »
September 17th, 2019

Old Benchrest Rifle Gets New Life as 6BR Ackley with Tuner

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Updating a 20+ Year-Old Benchrest Rifle

by James Mock
After owning three different rifles with BAT actions, I have become a loyal fan of BAT Machine quality and customer service. Back in 2009, I traded my BAT/Scoville for the BAT/Leonard that I currently shoot. This rifle has a long history and Terry Leonard told me that “Old 87″ (as I have named it) was one of the earlier BATs that he stocked. He wrapped the stock in fiberglass and used 2-part epoxy back then. I must say that this rifle has held up remarkably well since it dates back to the 1990s. The action is a RB/LP/RE octagon Model B with .308 bolt-face.

Rifle Has Multiple Barrels for Multiple Disciplines
With this gun, I have shot several barrels of different calibers (.22 PPC, .22 PPC-short .095, 6mm PPC, 6XC, 6mm Dasher, .30BR, and will soon have a 6 BR-AI). It has been an exceptionally accurate rifle in several disciplines. In the hands of previous owners, it earned several Hall-of-Fame (HOF) points, and a “middle-of-the-pack” shooter (me) even received a HOF point with this rifle.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

For most of its life, Old 87 served as a short range benchrest rifle, but I have used it for the last few years as a 600-yard rifle with the 6mm Dasher barrel. I was lucky enough to earn the Shooter of the Year award at the Prince Memorial Range in Louisiana for 2016.

After shooting my two Dasher barrels for last eight years, I have noticed a drop-off in accuracy at 600 yards. A decision had to be made — get a new barrel or sell the rifle and retire from competition. I will be 74 years old in six months and my competition days are limited due mainly to a chronic neck problem. After mulling over the decision to retire or not, I decided to give Old 87 one more year. Here is the story of how we upgraded the old war-horse.

Old 87 REBORN — Upgrading with New Components

I prefer cut-rifled barrels with four lands and grooves and have had success with .236 bore diameters and 1:8″ twist in long range rifles. I searched for barrels meeting those parameters and found a suitable BRUX at Bugholes.com (Southern Precision Rifles).

The 6BR-AI Option — Easy Fire Forming
I thought about having Billy Stevens chamber it for the Dasher, but decided to try something new. There seems to be a lot of interest in the 6BR-AI and I said, “Why not?” Well, I bought a shortened Dasher die from Harrell’s and will use my Wilson Dasher seating die. Bart Sauter was kind enough to let me use his reamer for chambering.

Fitting a New Roller-Type Cocking Piece on Older BAT Action
Since I was into the project this deep, I called Mike Ezell and ordered one of his Tungsten powder-dampened tuners. Since Old 87 had thousands of rounds since the firing pin spring has been replaced, I decided that it was probably needed. Well, I got to thinking (very dangerous) and asked Daryle Thom if it would be feasible to put a roller-type cocking piece and a new firing pin spring on such an old action.

The folks at BAT are very accommodating and they said that it would be no problem with such a conversion. While my bolt was in Idaho, the barrel with Ezell tuner arrived and I could not shoot it. However, my friend Jeff Turner loaned me his BAT bolt to see if it would work. Although the rifles differ in age by 15 or more years, the borrowed bolt worked perfectly in my rifle. This is a testimony to the great machine work performed at BAT Machine.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

New Bolt Roller Tail-Piece Makes a Big Difference in Cocking Effort
With the borrowed bolt I managed to fire-form 50 rounds and get them ready for our 600-yard match on September 16. The folks at BAT quickly fixed my bolt by replacing the mainspring and ejector spring, polishing the ejector, and replacing the tail-piece with their roller type. Pictured below is this tail piece that makes a remarkable difference in the force needed to cock the action. It is amazing what this little wheel can do… even when placed in a 20+ year old action.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Working with the Ezell Barrel Tuner — Small Increments Work Best
Also, I would like to congratulate Mike Ezell on his new tuner which contains powdered Tungsten. It is easy to set up and Mike will help a buyer get maximum effectiveness from the unit. Just give him a call. Below is a picture of the tuner. I was lucky enough to have some time to “play” with it before the match.

Talking about the tuner, Mike writes: “Our new barrel tuners…
PDT stands for particle dampening technology. The science is there, we just applied it to a barrel tuner. The advantages are a wider tune window and more efficient control of barrel harmonics…in a tuner design that actually looks good.”

Mike advised me to set the tuner by turning it all the way into the shoulder and then come out to zero or the second time zero comes up if there is not at least half of a turn between the shoulder and the first zero. It is best to start with a proven load and adjust the tuner from that load. As unlikely as it seems, a rifle can go from a good tune to a very poor tune with only 5 marks (.005”) and vice versa.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Mike cautions those who use his tuner to NOT make adjustments which are too large. As a matter of fact, he recommends adjustments of .001 inch at a time. Ezell’s tuners are screwed onto the barrel with .900” by 32 threads per inch and has 32 marks on the circumference of the tuner. Therefore, each mark moves the tuner in or out by .001 inch. There are three set screws with Teflon tips which provide friction for the tuner on the threads. Do not tighten the screws so tight as they damage the fine threads.

If you want the smoothest bolt possible for your BAT, call or e-mail Daryle or Bruce Thom at BAT Machine and discuss your needs with them. I am sure glad that I did. If you want a state-of-the-Art tuner for your barrel, give Mike Ezell a call or visit his Ezell Custom Rifles Facebook Page.
— Good shooting, James Mock

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September 17th, 2019

Parallax Explained — Nightforce Optics TECH TIP

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

PARALLAX – What is it and Why is it important?

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

What is Parallax?
Parallax is the apparent movement of the scope’s reticle (cross-hairs) in relation to the target as the shooter moves his eye across the exit pupil of the riflescope. This is caused by the target and the reticle being located in different focal planes.

Why is it Important?
The greater the distance to the target and magnification of the optic, the greater the parallax error becomes. Especially at longer distances, significant sighting error can result if parallax is not removed.

How to Remove Parallax
This Nightforce Tech Tip video quickly shows how to remove parallax on your riflescope.

While keeping the rifle still and looking through the riflescope, a slight nod of the head up and down will quickly determine if parallax is present. To remove parallax, start with the adjustment mechanism on infinity and rotate until the reticle remains stationary in relation to the target regardless of head movement. If parallax has been eliminated, the reticle will remain stationary in relation to the target regardless of eye placement behind the optic.

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

This Parallax Discussion first appeared in the Nightforce Newsletter. To get other helpful Tech Tips delivered to your mailbox, CLICK HERE to open the Nightforce Newsletter sign-up page.

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September 16th, 2019

Bargain Finder 208: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN Sports — Winchester XPR .30-06 Rifle with Scope, $299.99 after Rebate

Deer Elk rifle sale discount rebate Winchester XPR Weaver Scope

Hunting season is here! If you need a good basic hunting rifle capable of taking game up to Elk size, here is a crazy good deal. CDNN is offering a Winchester XPR .30-06 Spr rifle, complete with 3-9x40mm Weaver scope, for just $349.99. But it gets even better. If you purchase before the end of September, you’ll get $50 back from Winchester. That $50 rebate lowers your net cost to $299.99! You can pay more than that for just a barrel! This same deal is offered for three other chamberings: .243 Win, .270 Win, and .308 Win.

2. EuroOptic.com — Vortex Scopes Close-Out Sale, Save Hundreds

Vortex Optics Viper Razor Scope discount sale

Vortex scopes have become very popular for good reason. Vortex scopes deliver great performance for the price and Vortex offers a rock-solid lifetime warranty. Right now at EuroOptic.com you can save hundreds on Vortex Viper, Razor, and Strike Eagle riflescopes. Six of the deals are show above, but there are more options on EuroOptic’s Vortex Close-Out Sale Page.

3. ArmorAlly — Lake City Once-Fired 5.56×45 Brass, $37.50/500

lake city 5.56 .223 rem milspec brass cartridge

This Lake City 5.56×45 NATO brass is true once-fired, Milspec, thick-walled cartridge brass sourced from the U.S. Military. Lake City 5.56 (.223 Rem) brass is popular and reliable, and works great in AR-platform rifles. ArmorAlly includes 1% overage to account for any damaged brass. NOTE: Lake City brass has crimped primers and will need to be swaged prior to inserting a new primer. Lake City 5.56×45 brass is a good choice for varmint rifles that need hundreds of rounds in a weekend. Once you remove the crimp, you should get many reloads with this brass.

4. Palmetto Armory — Taurus TX 22 Pistol, $199.99 with Rebate

Taurus tx22 pistol sale rebate

Everyone should own a rimfire handgun, and here’s a nice .22 LR pistol for under $200.00. Palmetto State Armory is selling the TX 22 for $249.99. Fill out the paperwork for the Taurus factory rebate, and you get $50.00 Cash Back. That lowers your net cost to just $199.99 — a great price for a fine .22 LR handgun. We like the ergonomics on this pistol and it has a surprisingly good trigger feel. NOTE: To qualify for the $50 rebate, the TX 22 must be purchased between July 1 and September 30, 2019.”

5. Grafs.com — FREE Litz Book with $200 Lapua Product Buy

Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free book
This is one example. This deal works with $200 of ANY Lapua products purchased from Grafs.com.

Lapua makes great brass, bullets, and ammo. Bryan Litz writes great books. And now you can get both with this promotion from Graf & Sons. Here’s the deal — if you buy at least $200.00 worth of Lapua product at Grafs.com, you’ll get a free Applied Ballistics book authored by Bryan Litz. Mix and match any Lapua products — as long as the order totals $200.00 or more. We know you’ll want Lapua brass, but you should try out the great Lapua Scenar bullets too! NOTE: The book may be one of various Litz titles, such as Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting or Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets. You do NOT get to pick the book title — you get what’s available.

6. Brownells & Natchez — 9mm Ammo Under $17.50 per 100

Sellier & Bellot 115gr FMJ at Brownells
$189.99 for 1000-rd Case
$15 OFF + Free S/H with CODE NCS
Net Cost: $174.99 for 1000 rounds

9mm 9x19mm factory ammo deal sale bargain

Fiocchi 9mm 115gr FMJ at Natchez
$169.80 per 1000-rd Case
$8.49 per 50-rd box ($0.17/rd)
Shipping Extra

9mm 9x19mm factory ammo deal sale bargain

If you have a 9mm pistol, check out these great deals. because 9x19mm ammo is produced in such quantity, it is some of the cheapest centerfire pistol ammo you can buy. Here are two great 9mm Luger ammo deals for you, with big-name factory stuff for under 18 cents per round. Get either Sellier & Bellot or Fiocchi for under $0.18 per round. Brownell’s Sellier & Bellot $174.99/1000 deal with CODE NCS even includes free shipping. And the Fiocchi at Natchez is just $8.49 for a 50-count box.

7. Home Depot — Low-Profile Muffs + Shooting Glasses, $16.17

Walker low profile ear muffs eye protection glasses sale

Every shooter should have an extra set of shooting muffs and protective earwear. These will provide vital protection for friends/guests you bring to the range. And let’s face it, sooner or later you’ll forget your own muffs, so it’s wise to keep an extra set in your vehicle at all times. This week Home Depot a great deal on Walker’s NRR 22 Muffs + ANSI Z87.1-rated Shooting Glasses. Get both as a Combo Set for just $16.17. Midsouth also has this combo for $19.99.

8. Midsouth — Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer, $52.49

lyman cyclone cartridge brass case dryer midsouth sale

Lyman’s Cyclone Case Dryer is great for those who wet-tumble cartridge brass. The Cyclone’s five, stackable trays let you separate up to five different case types. At full capacity, the Cyclone holds up to 1,000 .223 Remington cases or 2,000 9mm cases. The trays can also be used to dry parts that have been ultrasonically cleaned (such as pistol components). The Cyclone’s built in 3-hour timer lets you “set and forget”. Midsouth is offering a VERY good price– $52.49. The same Lyman case dryer is $64.18 on Amazon.

9. Amazon — Tipton Gun Butler, $19.96

Tipton Gun Butler caddy gun vise cleaning tray sale Amazon

Here’s a handy, portable gun caddy that works well for rifle maintenance chores at home or at the range. Right now the Tipton Gun Butler is marked down to $19.96. The Gun Butler offers a convenient platform for cleaning your gun or doing tasks such as scope mounting. Two removable forks/cradles hold a gun securely in place, while compartments and slots hold solvents, jags, brushes, mops, and tools. The Gun Butler features a convenient carrying handle, and slip-resistant rubber feet. NOTE: The front cradle may not work well with wide benchrest fore-ends.

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September 16th, 2019

CMP Offers Scholarships to Young Men and Women

CMP Scholarship

CMP ScholarshipThe Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) invites young men and women shooters to apply for CMP scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year. The CMP offers $1,000 one-year scholarships to current high school seniors. Since 2005, CMP has awarded over $1 million in scholarship grants. Last year, the CMP awarded over $160,000 in scholarship money. Winning scholarship recipients, in their senior year of high school, came from JROTC schools, 4-H groups, and other shooting clubs.

CMP Scholarship Application Deadline is March 20, 2020

CMP Scholarships are based on merit. Candidates are high school seniors involved with a team or club participating in rifle or pistol marksmanship competitions. Applicants must provide rifle or pistol competition history, list of awards, and future goals in the shooting sports. Applicants must also provide academic GPA and an official high school transcript (3.0 Minimum GPA Required).

CMP Scholarship

Applications are Being Accepted Now for 2020-2021
The CMP is now taking scholarship applications for the 2020-2021 freshman college year. Scholarships are one-year awards that may be used to fund any accredited, post-secondary education or vocational program. (Note: Students planning to enroll in a military academy are not eligible).

CMP Scholarship Regulations | 2020-2021 Scholarship Application Form.

The deadline for CMP Scholarship Application is March 20, 2020. Learn more about the program at the CMP Website Scholarship Page. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Williams at 419-635-2141, ext. 709, or email kwilliams [@] thecmp.org.

CMP Scholarship

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